Vineyards are effortlessly romantic. Inspiring lovers getaways ever since the Song of Solomon was inked in a scroll. Fredericksburg has over 40 wineries, which ones would make a great place to propose? Some wineries are tasting rooms, which are still excellent places to visit on a date weekend, but aren’t as epic for proposing as the wineries that have acreage rolling with rows of grape vines. So let me share some of my favorite winery proposal secrets with you!
These are my three favorites…
- Why it’s great: So so beautiful. There are plenty of storefront wineries that are classy Tasting Rooms, but not as many that have acres and acres of vines on rolling hills like Grape Creek. It feels like Tuscany. Huge gorgeous oaks shading stoney paths, fountains, plenty of seating and amazing views of the vineyards. Their hour long vineyard tour is one of the best in town, and the first vineyard I’ll take family from out of town who want a great vineyard experience. The tour is only available at certain times so check out their tour schedule here! Spots fill up so reservations are recommended. As a photographer, I love that they have plenty of different rows of vines, some going in different directions, so we have some options when it comes to finding the best light in different times of the day and year.
- It’s good to know about: Crowds. It is one of the most popular venues with a high volume of guests. The staff are awesome and friendly but with such a high demand they can’t always accommodate special requests beyond access to the vines, and will not often notify ALL staff of what we are doing and on two occasions a staffer has yelled at us that we can’t trespass into the vines even though we’ve called ahead to get permission from the boss – not exactly the vibe you are going for. I guess they’ve had some unfortunate crazies happen in the vines, some sections have been fenced off from guests completely.
- For the best results: Consider coming during a weekday instead for smoother sailing. Or even better, come after hours to dine at their new restaurant, Stout’s Trattoria! If she wants to be dressed up when you propose this is THE setup. The grounds are closed off to the public except for guests with reservations to the restaurant, it will feel like a VIP wine & dinner event, the sun will be lower on the horizon for gorgeous golden-hour photos – win win win for you!!
- Why it’s great: Great events, check out their calendar to see what’s happening the month you’re planning to visit. The property is beautiful, with walking access to rows of vines. There’s blossoming pink trees in March and be on the watch in late April and May for stunning fields of red poppies, and in June for fields of lavender. As a guy reading this, when I mention flowers you might forget how much girls love flowers! If you are planning to propose when those fields are full- you’ll get the best of both worlds – a vineyard proposal WITH epic fields of flowers = a heavenly place to say YES! You can bring your own picnic and pets.
- It’s good to know: There aren’t any after-hour options after closing time at 6p. Tours are free but offered randomly, if you are in within earshot when they announce a tour you’re in!
- Why its great: Quiet & Creative! A large new(ish) 10 acre vineyard off the beaten path. That means crowds are lighter, and the staff are your new best friends. Buy one of their Estate Tour packages before your proposal and they’ll setup your last tasting at a private table for two on out on the property. The owners will drive you both out on a golf cart to a special location in the vines or under an oak tree, to a path lined with rose petals leading to a wine barrel as your coffee table, two industrial chic stools with your last tasting ready for two. One of my previous clients who proposed there asked to buy the barrel for their home patio furniture and sure enough, he came back later with a truck to take it home! Inquire with the staff about using a barrel that’s available to purchase as a keepsake!
- It’s good to know: Limited only by 6p closing hours on Fridays and Saturdays. The tasting room has a very casual vibe and draws a casual crowd, but couples being dressed up is no big deal anywhere in town.
- For best results: The staff are very accommodating to host your creative ideas. You can customize an experience here without too much red tape. Want to add a bouquet of roses, vintage furniture, a local musician with your favorite song to slow dance to? This is the kind of place we can add the over-the-top things if you’re interested!
What to expect! *TIME SENSITIVE*
The optimal time of year for photos in the vineyards is April through July when the vines are green and leafy. By April the leaves should be full enough to look lively, by late summer some vineyards will begin covering the vines with green nets to protect the harvest from birds – because these aren’t just decorative vines! They are really used in the wineries- yay Texas! After the first frost (October-ish) the grape leaves will begin to fall and be pruned so the epic rows will be not much more than brown sticks ); and remain dormant until spring. I hate having to say that to all my Nov-March proposal inquiries that the vines aren’t very photogenic through the winter, but if you’re here reading this for proposal photos you deserve to know what they will look like! You can still enjoy a romantic winery date all year round, though, here are samples of the vineyards in spring/summer and fall/winter.
“Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom
— there I will give you my love.”
Song of Solomon 7:12